Registration, Grades and Academic Policies

Responsibility of Students

It is the responsibility of students to understand the academic standards of the College and the degree requirements of the program in which they are enrolled. Assistance in interpreting the requirements is available from advisors, deans, the registrar and the associate provost.


Students are expected to register in advance of the published registration dates to ensure their enrollment in preferred courses. In March, the office of the registrar produces course schedules for the next academic year, and returning students may register in courses for the upcoming fall and spring semesters and the May term. New freshmen and transfer students select courses during the spring and summer orientations. During the fall semester, students register and make changes to the upcoming spring semester and May Term.

Students are expected to confirm their enrollment and make necessary course changes in the period devoted to registration at the beginning of each semester. Failure to confirm enrollment at the proper time will result in the assessment of a late registration fee. The College accepts no responsibility for holding seats in courses or room reservations or providing living accommodations for students who fail to confirm their enrollment by the day designated for that purpose.

By permission of the student's advisor and the registrar, one may make adjustments in his or her program of studies during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester. When a course is dropped after the drop/add period, and before the withdrawal deadline stated in the academic calendar, a grade of W will be shown on the permanent record. If the withdrawal occurs after the withdrawal deadline, a grade of F will be shown on the permanent record.

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is expected of all students and attendance records are kept. Specific policies regarding the number of absences allowed in particular courses are determined by instructors; however, if a student is absent for an entire week without credible explanation or has what the instructor considers excessive absences overall (whether or not they are consecutive), he or she will be reported to the associate dean for academic affairs who will determine the circumstances of the absences and, after consulting with the instructor, make a recommendation as to whether the student should be permitted to continue in the course. If the student is not permitted to continue and the student is withdrawn prior to the withdrawal deadline stated in the academic calendar, a grade of W will be shown on the permanent record. If the withdrawal occurs after the withdrawal deadline, a grade of F will be shown on the permanent record.

If a student, through excessive absences or otherwise, demonstrates minimal academic motivation, or an attitude inconsistent with reasonable expectations of a member of an academic community, the student will be subject to administrative disciplinary review, which may result in suspension or expulsion.

Absences that occur because of College activities approved by the provost and vice president for academic affairs will be reported in advance to the registrar by the instructor or staff member sponsoring the activity, and the registrar will notify instructors of the students involved. The student is responsible for all work missed when absent from class. Students should discuss absences with their professors before the absence occurs. The faculty member's attendance policy determines the impact of absences on a student's grade in the course.

Classification of Students

A student who has earned 25 credits or less is classified a freshman; 26 to 59 credits, a sophomore; 60 to 89 credits a junior; and 90 credits or more, a senior. A student who is carrying fewer than 12 credits in a semester is classified as a part-time student.

The Basis of Credit

A credit is equivalent to one semester hour. A three-credit course meets 150 minutes per week for the semester. A two-hour or three-hour laboratory or studio per week for the semester receives one credit. Students are expected to complete a minimum of two hours of work outside of class for each semester hour of credit.

Grade Point Average and Grading System

A grade is assigned at mid-semester and at the end of the semester in each subject for which a student is officially registered. Only the grades assigned at the end of the semester are recorded on the permanent record. The following grading system is used:

Grade   Quality Points
A Superior Achievement 4.0
A-   3.7
B+   3.3
B Above Average Achievement 3.0
B-   2.7
C+   2.3
C Average Achievement 2.0
C-   1.7
D+   1.3
D Fair/Below Average Achievement 1.0
D-   0.7
F Unsatisfactory Achievement 0.0

Grades of W, F, S and U receive no quality points.

The grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the quality points achieved by the number of credits attempted at Bridgewater College. All credits for which a student enrolls are counted as credits attempted except those credits for which a grade of W or S is received. A student may repeat course work in which he or she has received a grade of C-, D+, D, D-or F. In the case of repeated work, the highest grade is used in computing the student's GPA; however, both grades will remain on the student's permanent record.

Work accepted for transfer to Bridgewater College is recorded as credits earned. Credits attempted and quality points achieved are not transferred. Hence, a student's GPA, both cumulative and in the student's major, is only dependent upon work attempted at Bridgewater.

All College approved study abroad credits are received on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. However, a student may petition the provost and vice president for academic affairs to include all grades earned for cumulative GPA calculations.

I—Incomplete Achievement

This grade may be given when a student has been unable to complete the course or has been absent from the final examination because of illness or an emergency situation that is beyond the student's control. The time and conditions for the removal of an I must be approved by the registrar when it is assigned, but the due date can be no later than the sixth week of the following semester. In determining the grade point average, credits with a grade of I are not counted as credits attempted.


This grade indicates withdrawal from a course in which the student was officially registered. In order to receive it, the withdrawal must have the approval of the instructor of the course, the student's academic advisor and the registrar before the withdrawal deadline (refer to the academic calendar). A grade of W may be assigned from the last day of the initial drop/ add period until the last day of the 10th week of the full semester, the second week of May Term, during the third week of Summer Session 1 and 2, and the fifth week of Summer Session 3. Following these deadlines, the option of withdrawing will no longer be available. In determining the GPA, credits with a grade of W are not counted as credits attempted.

Course withdrawals count against completion rates for SAP calculations, which a student must maintain a 67% completion rate to be eligible for federal financial aid.

F—Unsatisfactory achievement (carries no credit)

S—Satisfactory achievement

U—Unsatisfactory achievement (carries no credit)

AUD—Audit (carries no credit)

For field internships and student teaching, grades of S or U are assigned. Courses carrying grades of S or U do not contribute to credits attempted or grade points achieved, nor do they figure in the GPA, but appropriate credits earned are credited to the student's permanent record.

For students wishing to audit a course, a grade of AUD is assigned. A grade of AUD does not contribute to credits attempted, credits earned or grade points achieved. The AUD grade does not figure in the GPA.

Grade Reports

Midterm and final semester grades are recorded, and a report is made electronically to each student.

Minimum Scholarship Standards

Every student who is permitted to enroll at Bridgewater College is expected to make continuous progress toward his or her educational objective. At the end of each semester a careful evaluation of the achievement of each student is made, and a student whose quality of performance is below the minimum scholarship standards as outlined below will either be placed on academic probation or academic suspension. The Council on Education is responsible for advising the provost and vice president for academic affairs of these standards and for hearing appeals concerning them.

The following minimum grade point standards apply:

1.4 End of the first semester

1.6 End of the freshman year

1.7 End of the third semester

1.8 End of the sophomore year

1.9 End of the fifth semester

2.0 End of the junior year

2.0 Senior year

While on academic probation, counseling by the deans and a student's portfolio or academic advisor may result in curtailment of co-curricular activities. The academic probation status is recorded on the student's academic transcript.

Academic Renewal Policy

Academic Renewal is a policy that allows first-year students who decide to change their major field of study, to either withdraw from up to two courses after the withdrawal deadline has passed in a current term, or to receive a retroactive W grade for up to two courses, taken during the first year, in which the students received a grade of D or F. Students may apply for Academic Renewal no later than the end of the fall semester of the sophomore year.

The policy is intended to serve the first-year student who, because of a change in major field of study (or change in direction in the case of students who have yet to declare a major), no longer needs the course or courses in question to fulfill graduation requirements. The policy does not apply to courses that are required for general education or other programs the student is still pursuing.

Upon completion of the application process (which begins in the office of the associate dean for academic affairs), a student would receive a W grade for the course or courses so designated. However, any student who utilizes the Academic Renewal Policy will not be eligible for the Dean's List that term, regardless of the resulting grade point average. Grades of F assigned by the Honor Council cannot be subject to this policy.

Overload Policy

Students are permitted to enroll in a maximum of 18 credit hours without paying an overload fee. Normally only students on the Dean's List may apply to the appropriate dean for permission to enroll in an overload (more than 18 credit hours including courses audited). Students who are permitted to enroll for an overload must pay the overload fee.

Transfer Credit Policy

A student wishing to transfer credits to Bridgewater College must complete the Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit Form, and submit it to the registrar for approval. Courses to be considered for transfer must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university. Transfer credit will be awarded for approved courses received on an official transcript in which the student earns a grade of C or higher. Transferred courses are recorded as credits earned and will not change a student's grade point average at Bridgewater College.